US Army awards Microsoft with $480 million HoloLens contract

The US Army has awarded Microsoft a $480 million contract to supply the military branch with as many as 100,000 HoloLens augmented reality headsets for training and combat purposes, according to Bloomberg. Microsoft beat out other leading augmented reality headset companies, like Magic Leap, which announced that it would be joining the bidding process back in September. Microsoft has had the upper hand, focusing primarily on enterprise markets, unlike Magic Leap, which has focused on the barely-existent consumer market. Microsoft has also previously sold some headsets to the military. But this contract would go well beyond its earlier collaboration, and could greatly expand the reach of the headset. “This new… Read More

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Facebook is expanding its local news feature ‘Today In’ to more than 400 US cities (FB)

Facebook is expanding “Today In,” its local-focused news hub, to more than 400 cities. Today In shows users news, posts, and events from their local area. But it also provides a new avenue through which misinformation and fake news could spread. Facebook is widely rolling out a new feature for local news and events, a tool intended to engage users with their local communities that also opens up a new front in the company’s battle against fake news and disinformation. On Wednesday, the social network announced that it is expanding “Today In” to more than 400 cities across the US, as well as some in Australia. It had previously been… Read More

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Astell & Kern launches a new version of the stellar AK T5p headphones

High-end portable media player company Astell & Kern has announced two new sets of headphones — an over-ear closed back model in partnership with Beyerdynamic, and an in-ear model in partnership with Jerry Harvey Audio. The over-ear model is the second generation of Beyerdynamic’s highly acclaimed AK T5p headphones, which The Verge described in 2016 as “on the precipice of greatness.” Visually, this new version of the AK T5p has a similar body style and, like its predecessor, is hand-built in Germany. The AK T5p 2nd Generation is tuned specifically for Astell & Kern’s portable music players. That includes the audiophile-level $999 Kann, a 9.8 ounce behemoth with a 6,200mAh… Read More

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Ikea just announced that it would be bumping pay for its most ‘disgruntled’ group of US employees

Ikea US announced in a post on its internal network on Wednesday that it plans to bump up the pay of its merchandising basics employees. Ikea employees previously told Business Insider that merchandising basics employees had gotten the short end of the stick during the retailer’s 2017 overhaul of its US-based stores. Merchandising basics employees are responsible for all of the backend work in the stores’ departments. When Ikea restructured its 48 US-based stores in 2017, the furniture retailer created a number of new job categories in the process. And, according to a number of Ikea employees, one new role in particular got the short end of the stick: merchandising… Read More

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This man lived in an isolated tribe until he was 14 — and here’s what his life is like

Rich Enuol lived in a remote tribe in the rainforests of Vietnam before moving to the US when he was a teenager. Enuol’s journey from Vietnam to the United States was difficult. His tribe was driven from the rainforests and was evacuated to a Cambodian refugee camp, where he learned English and experienced life with electricity for the first time. He now lives in Massachusetts with his wife. Interest in isolated, “uncontacted” tribes has risen after the American missionary John Allen Chau was killed by the Sentinelese, a tribe living on a remote Indian island. Until he was a teenager, Rich Enuol, 32, lived in an isolated tribe in the… Read More

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Audi just revealed a new electric concept car that puts Tesla’s Model S to shame

Audi unveiled its e-tron GT electric sedan concept on Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The automaker says it will begin delivering the production version of the vehicle in early 2021. The e-tron GT concept has an over 90 kWh battery that provides a range of over 248 miles, as well as 590 horsepower and the ability to accelerate from 0-60 mph in around 3.5 seconds. Audi did not announce a price for the production version of the e-tron GT concept, but it will likely compete against Tesla’s Model S sedan, which starts at $78,000. Audi unveiled its e-tron GT electric sedan concept on Wednesday at the Los Angeles… Read More

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Amazon is offering a rare $380 discount on Apple’s ultra-thin and lightweight MacBook right now

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase. Apple rarely holds sales. But Amazon has them all the time. And right now you can buy a certified refurbished 12″ MacBook for $819 on the site — that’s $380 cheaper than buying one brand new. The 12″ MacBook weighs just over two pounds and is powerful enough to handle all your everyday tasks, from casual web browsing to video streaming. It’s a great portable laptop for students and/or frequent travelers and is guaranteed to come to you in like-new condition. It also… Read More

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